May 31, 2006

Day 99: Nina comes out of hospital, resumes blogging

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 5:23 pm

On May 31st, after 14 days of silence and a stint in the hospital due to ill health and exhaustion, Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote an entry on her blog titled “Dragon Boat Festival:”

With respect to the many caring inquiries from friends, I know that further silence will create more speculations and worries. So I am sitting in front of the computer to type up these words. I thank everybody for their concerns.

Due to reasons such as turning over my work responsibilities and also ill health, I have left Beijing for Shanghai. I have visited the doctor, entered the hospital and stayed a few days. I am still physically weak, so I did not go back to my blog.

Please believe me that in spite of all the various hardships in my life, I am not shaken in my resolution to strive for the freedom of Hao. I and my family believe that we will go past the threshold of 2006.

Today is the Dragon Boat Festival. Those who know and those who don’t know the news have sent in festive SMS. Following tradition, my parents bought the wrapped rice dumplings and artemsia plants. In his blog, my younger brother described the scene of wrapping rice dumplings in his youth at home during the Chinese New Year. Food preparation is one of the happiest moments in family life each year.

Actually, apart from that, there is another major family event as our parents will solemnly wrap the rice dumplings for the Dragon Boat Festival. The Spring Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival are the most fresh memories inside my head.

Today, my parents are aged and no longer have the energy to prepare everything. But they still follow the tradition and tell us to buy or personally prepare the various items. For this Dragon Boat Festival, we miss my younger brother’s contribution. I am silent. I am afraid that I will open up my mother’s wound and cause her to cry in pain just like last weekend. Sigh! The children will always be the gentle tear at the parents’ hearts.

Did my younger brother eat rice dumplings today? Did he share our common memories? It is such a plain but tremendous happiness to have one’s family around! I hope that this happiness will never leave us.

May 17, 2006

Day 85: Hao is denied access to lawyer

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 9:23 pm

On May 17 Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog that she has received a response to her repeated appeals that Hao be granted access to a lawyer, but the news is not good:

This afternoon, I suddenly received a call from Officer Zhang, who I met last time, asking me to go to the city bureau Office of Petitions for a meeting and a response to our request to retain an attorney. It was in the same small room as last time, with the same two officers. Officer Zhang gave me the “Beijing Public Security Bureau Secrets-Related Case Attorney Request Decision Letter, Beijing PSB Inquest (2006) #1” At the top it said, “…according to the Clause 1 of Article 96 of the “Code of Criminal Procedure of the People’s Republic of China”, after review, it is decided to deny the request to retain an attorney.” Even though this response was not unexpected, I was completely at a loss. After working hard for a time, it appears that all efforts to seek legal help have reached a dead end.

Haozi has now moved from detention to living under surveillance. Due to legal regulations, living under surveillance is limited to six months. The police have promised to make a statement to the family before August. What kind of statement will it be? Finally finding a crime and beginning the administration of justice? The family can only wait passively. Can the law help groups that are so weak before the “People’s Institutions”?

Locking someone up for so long, without any explanation, and not allowing lawyers to take part. I am furious about this current plight of powerlessness. Lately, many friends have also expressed their concern. Surely, everyone is busy working for Haozi, but it is scattered across many places. Even I don’t have a “big map.” How can everyone know about each other and get organized? We can certainly find a way.

May 15, 2006

Day 83: Bureaucratic red tape - nightmare continues

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:23 pm

On May 15, Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a blog post titled Another Step in the Long, Long March:

Today, in keeping with the agreement between our lawyers and the police, I went to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Office of Inquiry at 2 o’clock to fill in the approval form for the hiring of lawyers. After I arrived, the officers at the Office of Inquiry claimed to not know anything about the matter; while they were calling others, I was also busy contacting our lawyers. After a while, a young officer came in from the outside to greet me. After being seated in the small room, this Officer Liu said that the form that was sent to them the last time did not fulfill the requirements, and that a correct application needs to be filled out. Without a second’s hesitation, I took out my pen and started filling out the form, then realized that aside from the applicant’s information, the only content that needed to be added was basically this: in accordance with Number XX provision of the law, I now hire Lawyer XXXX of XXX Law Firm to be the attorney of XXX….

Isn’t that the same as what I had written on the nationally-standardized Power of Attorney form, back when I was hiring lawyers at the law firm? Lawyers Yan Ruyu and Wu Yigang, whom we hired from Beijing’s Wu, Luan, Zhao & Yan Law Firm, had already handed my signed Power of Attorney form requesting for legal aid as well as the law firm letter to the Bureau’s legal department as early as March 22nd of 2006. I voiced my thoughts right then and there to Officer Liu and the other officers present at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Office of Inquiry; none of them expressed any opinion on the matter. Really, this form is quite mysterious; it’s impossible for one to find it on any website, and our lawyers, in all their years of employment, have never seen it before. Such a simple form made us busy ourselves with the hiring of lawyers from March to May.

Walking out of the room, the light from the broiling sun made me dizzy. I still remember the first time I came to Beijing for little’s brother’s affair, freezing to the point of shivering despite wearing an overcoat. Now, it’s already the sizzling summer season, and the police still hasn’t found evidence of little brother committing a crime, but I have yet to see the light of little brother’s freedom. When will this long, long march finally reach its end?

May 13, 2006

Day 81: Others who share Hao’s plight

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 6:55 pm

On May 13th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a post titled We are not the only family who are suffering:

Yesterday, I was saying to my friend how lucky I was that even though my brother is in trouble, I have so many friends who care and who support me. Last night, I climbed into bed, exhausted, but could not sleep because I kept thinking about my brother. I logged onto Jin Yan’s blog and saw that even though Hu Jia has been released, Jin Yan is still concerned about other unlucky families, and was wondering whether there are volunteer organizations that help those vulnerable families who are missing loved ones. We are not the only family in pain—who can help Yuan Weijing? Can we give such families more moral support?

Jin Yan has experienced pain, and our family is still in pain, I can understand the other families who are in hopeless situations.

Who remembers Chen Guangcheng Guo yushan?

May 7, I was on the train returning to Beijing, when suddenly I received a call from Yuan Weijing’s sister-in-law. She wanted to know the situation with our friends in Beijing who were trying to help Guangcheng. She really had to struggle to find time to call me.

Another time, she called me in a spare moment. She was under a lot of pressure: Guangcheng had disappeared and nobody knew what was going to happen; at home there was only her, Guangcheng’s old mother, and an infant not yet one month old; with this combination of elderly plus the baby, there were still about 20-odd people around where they lived guarding them. You can see what kind of an enemy the local government thinks Chen Guangcheng is.

Guangcheng’s mother is old but she can still walk around by herself. However, when she strolls around the village, nobody dares to talk to her. The old lady misses her son, and her health has deteriorated. The sister-in-law has to take of the elderly and the infant, so she is totally exhausted.

Receiving her phone call on the train, I felt their stress and fear, and I did not know how to console her. I asked her whether she knew that Times magazine made a list of 100 peoples of 2006 and that Guangcheng was listed as a “hero and leader”; she said that she knew, and said that Shandong television had reported on that list, of the 5 Chinese people who were chosen (Wen Jiabao, Ang Lee, Huang Guangyu, Ma Jun, Chen Guangcheng) they mentioned 4, only Chen Guangcheng was left out.

May 11, 2006

Day 79: Still no answers

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 6:41 pm

On May 11th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog:

On the afternoon of May 10, our lawyer received a phone call from the city PSB (actually the National Security Unit.) The main thrust of the call was that our “Application to retain a lawyer to offer legal assistance to Hao Wu” was invalid. The family members need to fill out the form themselves. I don’t know whether the content of our application did not meet requirements, or the formatting was nonstandard. If we had filled it out in person, we would have written the same things. Nothing would change. Why didn’t they mention the issue of the forms when they met the lawyer on April 21, and bring it up only now? Counting the days, they received our application ten days ago. If the lawyer didn’t call them many times, how long were they planning to delay before giving us a reply? Actually, I wrote my cell phone number on each document, so they have no excuse for not contacting the suspect’s relatives. Also, I cannot just drop in at the National Security Unit office. Only they can choose the place. All I can do now is set a time and place to complete the forms through our lawyer.

The approval of hiring a lawyer has already taken half a month without any results. When can we see my brother? They are clearly delaying. In fact, they don’t have any evidence that incriminates my brother. What methods or institutions can monitor the National Security Unit to keep it from prosecuting a falsified case?

May 10 is my husband’s birthday, but I completely forgot it. This is the first time I’ve forgotten in the ten years I’ve known him. In the early hours of May 11, as we finished our phone conversation, he told me that the day before was his birthday, and that even he forgot it. It was our daughter who reminded him. I know that my husband said that to keep me from feeling guilty. It’s true. What’s happened in Beijing has completely occupied my thoughts, making my temporarily incapable of being a responsible wife, mother, and daughter. Thank you to my husband and relatives for their understanding and support. In the future I will repay you twofold for the responsibilities I’ve forgotten over this period of time.

May 9, 2006

Day 77: Comprehending “the power of this network”

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:21 pm

On May 9th Hao’s sister Nina Wu encountered problems accessing her MSN Spaces blog. Chinese bloggers believe it has to do with the fact that MSN has switched its login system to an interface that it blocked in China (more on that later). Meanwhile, Nina writers: What else is happening?:

I am a citizen who is insensitive toward politics. Today I could not access my blog as I normally do, and I rushed to the newspaper to see if there is anything wrong. The Regulation on Enlisted Company in Stock Market was endorsed today and the market is on a rise, which is certainly none of my business. I further take a close review of the headlines: Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing attends the Six Party Talk on the Iraninan Nuclear Issue; and Vatician City issued a statement concerning the appointment of two bishops in China, in which the spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry express the regret of Chinese government. And are these the reasons that lead to problem of bad connection to my email and blog?

After returning to Shanghai, I’ve also sent some emails to Hao’s friends in middle school, with no feedback received. I just hope that Hao’s incident won’t bewilder and puzzle people involved. Some of the netizens’ replies really comfort us, and I traced back to their blogs to read some related posts. Some blogs by the so-called “80s” generation make me realize that our new generation has not been overcome and occupied by mere material desire. Despite my joy I also worry about them. You won’t know the existence of the underlying rules of the game until you get in trouble with it. Then you will comprehend the power of this network. It’s valuable to live as thinking person, but you should learn to protect yourself before you are able to change the rules of the game. If people like Hao disappear one after another, the prospect of our lives will be with much less bright and many more families will experience pain.

I wish that all families can be joyful and every one can walk in the sunshine!

P.S. If you have sent an email to me and not yet received any reply, I maybe haven’t received it, or your mail is just on the winding road of delivery.

May 6, 2006

Day 74: Family holiday, missing Hao

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:38 pm

On May 6th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote the following entry on her Chinese blog, titled My Parents Spent The May First Holidays With Us:

Within the ten hours or so between the afternoon of April 30th and the morning of May 1st, we had an urgent consultation with my parents, we bought the airplane tickets, they traveled and we picked them up. Then we traveled by car. Our original intention was to take my parents away from the sorrow, but they continued to look troubled and without the enthusiasm that they had during previous trips. Only when they saw the lively granddaughter by them did their expressions turned from ‘dark to bright.’

We visited the famous scenic sites at Tiantai Mountain. My mother insisted on not going to Guoqing Temple, the original site of the Tiantai branch of Chinese Buddhism. Her explanation was that her many wishes for my younger brother have never materialized, so she was too broken-hearted to go anymore … Although I am not a Buddhist, I am aware that it was important to be honest and not disprect Buddha. So we gave up the plan to visit the ancient temple. I followed my mother from behind and silently watched her raised her hand to wipe away the tears on her face …

My mother fell ill during the trip and so we decided to cut the trip short. As we left, we made a visit to the ancient home of the Jigong Buddha for a final prayer for my parents’ wishes. In her sick state, my mother lit three joss sticks just like us, and bowed in all four directions. On the way back, we had a tacit understanding not to mention my younger brother. Previous to that, we also had a tacit understanding not to ask each other about our wishes.

We passed through Hangzhou and took a rest next to West Lake. Under the dark blue sky of the night, we finally opened our hearts and told my parents about this affair. We told them about the selfless help from our friends and we told them about the efforts from so many parties … My parent’s misgivings were gradually removed. When told about the friends’ appraisal of my younger brother, my mother did not look so sad anymore and my father did not sigh anymore, as they know the character of their son. I knew then that making my parents come to Shanghai had not been a wasted effort. This was the first step in the ten thousand mile march, and there is still a lot that I need to tell them, including about my blog …

After getting back to Shanghai, I found emails from my friends waiting for me. I learned that the outside world did not forget Hao, that there are still people thinking about him and that there are still people working hard
on his behalf. I was very gratified.

So here, I will express sincere thanks to all those friends on behalf of my parents and the whole family!

Some friends were worried that the Internet comments may cause me to be saddened. Actually, I have become more open-minded after the experiences over all these years. It would be unusual for a society to have only one voice about an affair. did not ban Jessica Copeland’s speech and I have no need to be troubled by the different kinds of voices on my blog. If the commentators carefully read all the
information, he/she would know that Hao was not a believer in any kind of religion. Actually, no matter whether is is Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism or Islam, the core principles ought to be about being good. I have Buddhist and Christian friends. When they heard that Hao was missing, they prayed and they burned joss sticks for his early safe return. Love has no borders, and being good is not divided by belief or sect.

May 3, 2006

Day 69: Nina reflects on her brother’s loss of freedom

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:15 am

On May 1st Hao’s sister Nina wrote a blog post, The Bridge of Communication:

Deng Xiaoping had opened the gates of the country through his tour of and talks in the South, but people overseas still know little of China. I remember on my first trip to the United States in 1997, I’d met some kindly and approachable elderly people while strolling on La Jolla Beach. After barely 3 sentences, they started asking me questions on whether I had enough to eat in China; then, when a boatful of Chinese stowaways was found in Los Angeles Harbour, Americans tended to start debating with me the reasons why the Chinese sought to go to America by any means possible. No matter how I tried explaining to them, they found it impossible to imagine that “the good life” also existed in China. At that time, television channels broadcasted documentaries about Shanghai, the majority of whose scenes focused on squatter settlements and by-passed Pudong and the newly-emerging cityscapes. Quite possibly the standard impression Americans had of Shanghainese at that time was this: bleary-eyed in the morning; noisily unloading their nightpots; bicycles weaving in and out of narrow passageways; the very majestic “Lover’s Wall” of The Bund at night. As for Chinese politics, mostly what the television channels broadcasted were biographies of Chinese leaders and the Tiananmen Square incident. Repeatedly broadcasted were those few scenes and the interviews with student leaders; rare was any reflections from other perspectives. At the time, I had argued with little brother, feeling that the knowledge the outside world had of China was one-sided and lacking, but I did not know how to rectify this lack.

It’s hard to say that the news reported by CCTV is completely objective and comprehensive. Even “Oriental Horizon”, which has quite an influence within the mainland, only goes so far and no further in regards to the reporting of certain events. The style of this program is similar to that staple American interview program, “60 Minutes”, but content-wise often isn’t as in-depth as the latter. As China’s official window to the outside world – CCTV9, in terms of content, production quality and other points of evaluation, also has difficulties holding the long-term interest of the overseas audience. In order to have those from overseas understand the true China, there needs to be objective, diversified pathways of information.

The rise of the Internet indubitably provided a more flexible, choice-driven conduit for information communication, and also let Haozi find an effective way for understanding and exchange within and outside of the Great Wall. After little brother returned home to China, other than making plans for using the camera lens to record the changes happening in China, he also picked up his pen and wrote on his blog one story after another of what was happening around him. The sharpness of his perception made even this educated-and-having-worked-in-China-for-years older sister acknowledge her inferiority: his style was witty and lively, every story coming to vivid life, completely without sanctimony or the suspicion of artifice, seducing the reader into returning again and again; the stories he told involved the lives of the Chinese, the various aspects of society – to visit his blog is like seeing the world on the other side of the wall through a small hole in the wall. As for whether he was objective or fair, his readers knew the score; he synthesized various reasonings to analyze an event, a problem, seeking a moderate stance, free from bias, and not to mention that he welcome various debate on his blog. That, I think, is the main reason his weblog was heartily welcomed by everybody. Aside from that, having studied, worked, and lived in the States for many years, he could easily compose in English; this is the most important reason Haozi’s blog was able to gain international attention amidst the numerous Chinese blogs, even though one can find bloggers in China who are even better at telling Chinese tales.

Upon reading this, every reader must be saying, “Old wife Wang, bragging about the melons she’s selling”. Yes, I am proud of my little brother. But every since Haozi got into trouble, I’ve been reading my little brother’s weblog again and again, thinking to find the reason behind his fall to his current disgraced state. In the weblog, he didn’t express any political bias, nor used any anti-Party, anti-government turns of phrase, nor had any unreasonable rants. If readers have the inclination, they could visit Haozi’s blog, Beijing or Bust, or to help me analyze a little exactly what mistake Haozi made that caused him to lose an individual’s most precious possession – his freedom?

Also: on the last day of April, which is last night, around 8 o’clock, I received a phone call from Officer Liu of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, notifying me that they’d received on Thursday (yesterday was Sunday April 30th, , right? Don’t know why there’s a three-day gap in between?) the application “Requesting the Hiring of an Attorney to Provide Legal Aid to Wu Hao” I’d sent by Express Mail on Tueday. which is currently being transferred to the services department (the National Security Team?). Actually, in the two days since I sent out the Express Mail, the attorney had already notified by phone relevant personnel at the National Security Team of the sent application– and the National Security Team hasn’t yet delegated someone to pick it up? According to the letters regulation, the Letters and Complaints Bureau will monitor to make sure the relevant department gives a response within 15 days. It’s the head supervisory organ - could our anticipation be any higher? Especially considering that the voice of Officer Liu on the phone - full of Beijing patois - was kindly and approachable, his attitude impeccable. It’s only a tiny little program; having arrived at now, we’ve already exhausted a lot of time, but without seeing the sign signaling this program’s end. Perhaps, after this so-called program has completely run its course, we’ll long be white-haired.

A person’s freedom possibly appears very insignificant in the face of “national secrets”. But how much time does a person have?

Day 67: Actions taken for Hao

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:08 am

On April 29th Hao’s sister Nina posted the following in English on her blog:

Who/where we, Hao’s family members and friends, have contacted in the last couple of months:

1. China

1) Family’s efforts

Letters addressed to Leadership in China

* Chief of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, Ma Zhen Chuan by me

* Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee of Politics and Law, Qiang Wei, by me

* President Hu Jin Tao separately by our father and me

* Premier Wen Jia Bao by our father

* Secretary of National Public Security, Zhou Yong Kang, by our father

China government departments we have contacted

* 3 inquiries to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Chaoyang District Branch Foreign Police Station;

* 1 visit to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Chaoyang District Branch;

* 3 visits to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (including once being barred outside the entrance of the PSB work building)

* 2 visits to Ministry of Public Security (one terminating outside the gates of the MPS on Changan Street, one terminating at Dongtanzi Hutong)

* 1 complaint reception at Beijing Municipal Government;

* 1 letter to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Disciplinary Inspection Commitee

* 1 visit to Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate;

2) Lawyers’ efforts

* Have written to Supervisory Office of Beijing Public Security Bureau, requesting that the relevant departments be charged with rapidly correcting their inappropriate behavior, safeguarding the lawyer’s execution of professional duties according to law, and safeguarding the procedural rights of the accused.

* Have reported to Beijing People’s Procuratorate regarding the illegal process by which the Beijing Public Security Bureau National Security Team handled Hao’s case;

* Have gone to Beijing Public Security Bureau Petition Office to exchange opinions with the police, and clarified the “ misunderstandings “ ;

* Have helped Hao’s family to submit an application to procure lawyers to the public security bureau.

2. United Nation

* Petitions Team, Office of the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights have been asked to inquire into my brother’s case.

* “Form to Submit a Communication on a Victim of an Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance” has been submitted to Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

* Ulrich Garms from UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Special Procedures Branch has sent an email to Hao’s family,and the questionnaire has been submitted to United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention;

3. US

* A letter addressed to President Bush appeals to his talking to President Hu for the reason that Hao is being detained and when China’s government intends to release or prosecute him;

* Haozi’s friends in the United States have spontaneously written letters to American congressmen, demanding that they pay attention the matter of Haozi’s unreasonable arrest.

Hao’s other friends are working on other methods I may have not know in details…….

…….. There are more and more……